I am one of those people who takes everything far too personally. Even if an issue isn’t about me, I immediately assume the worst. I always get way too invested in drama that’s none of my damn business, too.
Over time, though, I’ve learned to look at the facts instead of assuming that I messed up. I’ve learned to remember that life changes quickly and people can’t always follow through on commitments.
For instance, one of my best friends, whom I’ve known for 16 years, has always been there for me. Recently, though, his life changed dramatically when he became a dad. I’m beyond excited to have an “honorary niece,” but I also know that my friendship will change in ways that have nothing to do with me. Instead of seeing him once per month, I may go months at a time without meeting up with him. Our game nights may become more sporadic, too. I know that we may not talk as often – but that’s OK.
I’ve also learned not to take my friends’ actions personally when they move away. A few years back, a close friend from my charity work group moved down South. When she moved, our whole friendship changed and we didn’t talk as much as we used to, but I didn’t let it get to me. Even now, when my friend comes home to visit, she always tries to make time to see me, but sometimes she can’t because she has other obligations. She always apologizes to me when we can’t see each other, but I tell her that I understand. I know that she loves and cares about me regardless of how often we see each other.
If you tend to take everything too personally, remind yourself that friendships constantly change. We may stress when life changes and our friends change with it, but we can’t expect everything to stay the same forever.
When we recognize that our changing relationships have nothing to do with our actions, all of our relationships will improve. So we shouldn’t shame our friends and loved ones for not celebrating our milestones with us or not spending quality time with us. After all, life gets busy and stressful, and that’s not on us or them.
At the end of the day, taking everything personally does nothing good for anyone. So let’s all try to understand and embrace the changes life has to offer. Once you stop taking everything so personally, you’ll see your whole life change for the better.
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